Dragoș Preda is a Romanian entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience within the European and the USA industrial sector. A graduate of the Polytechnic University of Bucharest and holder of an EMBA degree, obtained together with Ana-Maria (wife and business partner) at one of the top schools in Europe (IE Business School in Spain), Dragoș started his activity during college in the sales department of a Romanian company, active in the metal construction sector. He is currently the Co-Founder and CEO of PrimeRenting, a digital marketplace dedicated to industrial equipment rentals, through which companies can rent faster, easier and safer from the online community of suppliers, while the latter maximize the usage on the equipment they own.
C&B: Make a description or define your activity!
Dragoș Preda: “I believe we were inspired. Earlier this year, I launched, together with my wife and partner (no. Ana-Maria Preda), PrimeRenting – a project designed to streamline the rental industry in Romania, both by increasing transparency and security in this sector and by developing a simple and efficient solution for connecting supply and demand.
The rental process is completely online. Customers no longer waste time searching, calling and checking suppliers or pseudo-suppliers found on the internet. Now they find everything they need related to the rental process in one place: Aggregated rental offer on a single digital platform; Vendors, verified by the PrimeRenting team and rated by previous customers; A wide range of equipment; Logistics services; Dedicated technical support; A simple and complete online process, etc.
At the time we are talking, the supplier partners present on the platform, have uploaded more than 400 equipment available for rent, from small mechanization equipment, generators, forklifts, industrial cleaning equipment and up to nacelles or tower cranes.
The word best characterizing this business is “Quality”. The quality of the equipment, the quality of the supplier partners and, perhaps most importantly, the quality of the services offered by the PrimeRenting team throughout the rental process.
In order to increase transparency within this market, in parallel with the security of transactions between companies, PrimeRenting has concluded two strategic partnerships with Groupama Romania and Coface Romania. Thus, each supplier can insure each piece of equipment separately, strictly during each rental period, thus facilitating both an increased safety of the equipment in operation and the efficiency of insurance costs. On the other hand, suppliers receive a creditworthiness report for each customer who places a rental order on the platform, thus helping him to have a more clear picture of the business partner. ”
C&B: What does the story of your career or business sound like?
Dragoș Preda: “Since college, I wanted to get involved and translate into reality the vision of a perfect synergy between technological advancement and human philosophy. We understood the importance of finding efficient solutions, based on automation and digitization, solutions which allow employees and entrepreneurs to spend more time on key activities within their companies.
I started the activity from the first years of the faculty within the sales department of a Romanian company, active in the construction and metal fabrication sector. Three years later, I launched my first company together with my father, a company which develops and supplies innovative technological solutions for production lines in various industries.
In 2009, at the proposal of one of the partners we worked with, a company from Denmark, we accepted a two-year project, a collaboration, through which we tried to replicate the model developed in Romania, within other Eastern European countries.
At the end of 2011, a Romanian company bought a Swiss company, a competitor in the steel industry. This story was inspiring for me and at the same time an example of courage and ambition, to demonstrate that a Romanian entrepreneur can go beyond the borders of the country if he has the necessary vision and the pleasure of the business he runs. He offered me to collaborate and I accepted immediately, developing the international sales team and then the US branch. Since 2017, I have taken over the management of the company that operates on 5 continents, with headquarters in Switzerland and 2 subsidiaries, one in Romania and one in the USA.
During the EMBA and encountering great difficulties in two projects developed on the Romanian market, when we had to rent various equipment and machinery, I decided together with Ana, to find and develop a solution to help companies to rent machinery and equipment simpler, more efficient and much safer.
This is how PrimeRentin started – a digital platform that helps suppliers maximize the usage rates of their equipment with minimal effort, safely and paying only if the marketplace brings them the promised added value. On the other hand, contractors no longer waste time looking for the equipment and related services they need for rental, finding everything in one place, with suppliers checked and evaluated and the whole process simple and complete online. ”
C&B: What were your visions in childhood / adolescence and what are they now?
Dragoș Preda: “Like any other child, I think I went through the whole range of professions when I imagined what I wanted to be: an engineer, an astronaut, a secret agent or a movie hero. As the years passed, I wanted to follow the path opened by my father, that of an entrepreneur who wants to come up with ambitious and innovative solutions for the various inefficiencies in the industrial sector.
Now I can say that I am where I wanted to be and the most important thing is that I can follow this vision with my wife, with whom I manage to complement myself perfectly on all levels.”
C&B: How did the Pandemic Crisis influence your activity and what conclusions resulted out of it
Dragoș Preda: “We could see a slight decrease in the rental activity, more pronounced in certain industries hit harder by the pandemic and lower, or maybe even non-existent in the construction industry. Most companies worldwide try to optimize internal processes and streamline the cost structure. New investments are being carefully analyzed, especially in the context of declining economic predictability. A natural and at the same time profitable option is to rent the necessary equipment strictly when you need it.
This decision comes naturally in the context in which the circular economy brings so many benefits to all players and last but not least to the environment.
Global forecasts show that industrial equipment and machinery rentals will increase with a CAGR between 4 and 15% by 2025, depending on industry and range.”
C&B: What advice / tips do you have for those who are just starting out or are undecided?
Dragoș Preda: “Experience has shown me that there is no time to be undecided. If you want to do something, if you have a dream, a vision, try to put it into practice, in your own company or in the company you work for. Always find solutions to improve and streamline what you have already developed, because technology is advancing with immense speed and a product that was innovative yesterday will be obsolete tomorrow.”
C&B: Please provide your own definition for Romanian society, business and careers!
Dragoș Preda: “I believe that Romania companies have begun to understand the value of quality services and the benefits of investing in technology. We see an ecosystem of startups which is growing and proposing ambitious, innovative and globally appreciated projects.
From the point of view of careers, I see unfortunately many young people caring more about the financial part of the job and this often to the detriment of the profession they have chosen or the dreams they have. This naturally leads to a lack of passion in daily work and a medium-term cap.
I believe that especially at the beginning of our career, material gain must be put in the background as much as possible, and we must devote as much time as possible to personal development and to the implementation of the vision and dreams we have. In the beginning, we have time to make mistakes and start over. With time passing by, responsibilities increase and we cannot afford the effects of failure so easily.”